Coronavirus impact: Sunnyvale farm looking for donations to help cope with coronavirus pandemic

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- Everyone is changing the way that they do life during the coronavirus pandemic, including Animal Assisted Happiness, a farm that we have told you about here on ABC7 News.

This non-profit has had to deal with these changes, a major burglary and their normal need for donations, but they remain smiling through it all.

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The animals at Animal Assisted Happiness Smile Farm in Sunnyvale look happy enough, but things are different.

They may not realize it, but COVID-19 is changing the world around them.

With shelter in place orders, the farm has had to close its doors to volunteers and guests, leaving the majority of the work to be done by a small group of people and the animals without the normal love they receive.

"They're definitely lacking the touch, the noise and the socialization of it," AAH Program Manager Simone Haroush said.



So how do they cope?

Zoom meetings with farm animals.

AAH is now offering virtual visits for classes of students with disability for free, or for large companies for a donation of at least $50.
Without the ability to take their animals on classroom visits like normal, this is a way for them to socialize and spread smiles.

"We create smiles for kids on a virtual tour and they love it," Haroush said. "They get to see the bigger animals that they don't normally see in the classroom. It's just so cool."

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The animals survive on volunteers and donations and since you can't visit the farm right now, donating is your only way to help.

Giving Tuesday gives you that opportunity.

The farm hopes the public gives back on this international charity day.

The AAH board will match up to $19,500 of the donations given to the farm from the community.

These are needed funds in these trying times.



After seeing the great work that AAH did by watching our story on ABC7, Cliff Martin and his father-in-law, Dale, wanted to give back.

One of the ways that they did was through a generator for the property.

In March, the farm was burglarized and the generator was stolen.

These donations could help replace that.



This is just one of many challenges in life right now, but AAH will always have reasons to smile.

"We will always create smiles," Haroush said. "We will always have the animals that will help us create smiles. Why would it stop us? There's more good than bad in the world."

To donate to Animal Assisted Happiness, you can visit their website here.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

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